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Brooklyn native Landesberg preparing for second chance at making the NBA

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Sylven Landesberg enjoys playing pro hoops in Israel, but he still hopes to reach the holy land of the NBA.

“Going overseas is a great experience, but the ultimate goal is the NBA,” Landesberg said.

The Brooklyn native is in his second year of a three-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Super League, but he aims pursue a pro-ball career back in the States after some seasoning.

“When my contract is up I am going to test the waters again,” said the former Holy Cross High School star.

The 6-foot-6 Lansdesberg, who has Israeli citizenship, went undrafted in 2010 after leaving Virginia at the end of his sophomore year, and he’s had to prove himself overseas. Two years ago he averaged 20.7 points per game and 5.4 rebounds playing for Maccabi Haifa, which did not compete outside of Israel. Last season his production dipped in an international league with a bump up in competition. Landesberg, calls it the next step, scoring just 5.8 points but shooting 55.4 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point land.

“Being able to play against other European teams is a different type of competition a different type of game,” he said.

Landesberg, who played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Knicks in last year’s summer league, was a McDonald’s All-American at Holy Cross, which won the CHSAA city title in 2008. Landesberg was also named New York State Mr. Basketball. He was the ACC Rookie of the Year and a second team all-conference selection as a sophomore at Virginia, averaging 17.3 points per contest. It was frustrating for him not getting picked up by team after he chose to leave college after two seasons.

“It’s disappointing, but you learn from it,” Landesberg said. “You just continue to work.”

It only added to his motivation to make his dream a reality. Former Holy Cross assistant coach Lloyd Desvigne, who was watching Landesberg play with Primetime at Nike Pro City at Baruch College, still holds 6 am workouts with Landesberg at Holy Cross when he’s around.

Landesberg said he was told to work on his jumper, but for Desvigne it was a matter of his body maturing to make the difference. He feels Landesberg still hasn’t reached his potential year, but it more prepared now for a run at the NBA then he was out of college.

“He’s definitely ready now,” Desvigne said. “He looks more like a grown man. You can’t rush mother nature, no matter what you try to do.”

Landesberg hopes he has enough seasoning to be ready if his name is called for the NBA this time around.

“I’m driven everyday by that,” Landesberg said. “That’s still he ultimate goal.”

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.

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